The building was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It's purpose was to be the German National Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. It had to accommodate the official reception presided by King Alphonso XIII of Spain along with the German authorities.
Built exclusively from lavish materials, such as glass, marble, travertine and golden onyx and in a simple form, it is a work representative for the Modern Movement. Even though the building was supposed to host the exhibition, the building itself was to become the exhibit.
Having been built for the exhibition, it was intended to exist only temporarily so in 1930 is was disassembled. But because it was such an important work, in 1980, the Urban Planning Department of the Barcelona City Council decided to recreate the pavilion, using the original plans. Architects Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos researched and supervised the reconstruction of the Pavilion.
The new building was opened on its original site in 1986, after three years of work.
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